June 14, 2011
Apart from the Mavericks and their fans, the group of people most excited about Dallas' Finals victory has been supporters of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Ever since LeBron James(notes) spurned them last summer with "The Decision," Cavs fans have approached anything LeBron does with a hatred unsurpassed in American sports today. To see him fail on basketball's biggest stage served as a moment of supreme schadenfreude.
As a showing of appreciation, Ohio Governor John Kasich decided to name the Mavericks honorary Ohioans. Because that is the kind of random gesture that governors handle well. You can read the entire resolution at The Basketball Jones, but we've picked out a few of the best clauses below:
WHEREAS, the Dallas Mavericks displayed the loyalty, integrity, and teamwork essential to victory before the entire country, affirming that these admirable traits are as crucial as talent and athleticism; and [...]
WHEREAS, the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Dirk Nowitzki(notes) chose to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks in the summer of 2010, forgoing free agency and keeping his talents in Dallas, thus remaining loyal to the team, city and for whom he played his entire career; [...]
NOW, THEREFORE, I, John R. Kasich, Governor of the State of Ohio, do hereby name the DALLAS MAVERICKS organization, friends, family and fans as honorary Ohioans, with all privileges and honors therein, for the day of June 14, 2011.
Wait, it's just for one day?! What a ripoff!
Kasich was born in Pennsylvania but he atteneded The Ohio State University and has spent his entire professional life working in Ohio politics at either the state or national level. It's his home, so it makes sense that he would feel some kinship with the downtrodden fans of the Cavaliers, who had a terrible season and finally seem to be getting some luck with James' loss and the much more important fact that they'll make two top-four picks in next week's NBA draft.
Hopefully, it's now time for the Cavaliers and their fans to move on from being best-known as people who hate LeBron to fans who root a team that's about to get some exciting young talent for next season. It's understandable that fans would mock their former savior at every opportunity, but at some point the jersey burning and passive-aggressive resolutions need to stop. No matter what Kasich explicitly claims, this resolution is about LeBron James. If the Heat weren't in the Finals, his office would've been hard at work on a resolution condemning Charles Robinson and Dan Wetzel for their investigations into Tressel-related malfeasance at Ohio State instead.
So please, let this final resolution help let Cavs fans move on, even if it doesn't heal the pain entirely. Harping on past transgressions does not make for a well-lived life.